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Right handed player learning to play left handed.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by nickn, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. nickn


    Oct 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    So after battling with pain in my right wrist for over a year and a half, trying E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G from physical therapy, low tension strings, short scale bass, etc etc etc... I still can't play bass without pain. This idea just dawned on me: What if I relearn how to play bass? I'm thinking about flipping my bass over and playing it upside-down. My logic is that fretting is a different action than plucking, so whatever is causing pain in my right wrist won't even come into play if I'm playing lefty. What do you all think? Dumb idea or worth a try if my only other option is to give up bass?

    What I'd really appreciate is input from lefties who forced themselves to play right-handed. I know you're out there. Was it really hard for you? Did you have any tricks to make it easier on yourself?

    THANKS! :D
  2. cosmicevan

    cosmicevan bleep bloop Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    i'm a leftie who learned rightie. it was tough at first, but since i couldn't do much holding it as a leftie it wasn't too big of a stretch to learn rightie. this is how i started. now trying to hold the bass a way a leftie would is impossible for me.

    however, i think the larger question is why you feel your fretting hand won't hurt. i am now experiencing joint pains in my left (fretting) hand. i would imagine that the fretting action is way tougher on you than plucking? why not try using a pick? what have the doctors said about the pain? do they think flipping the instrument over would help? i mean, it is worth a shot instead of stopping to play.
  3. I'm a lefty that has always played righty. I couldn't hit a note left handed to save my life. The thing about opposite hand playing is that my dominant hand (left) is at the fingerboard. The weaker right hand 'knew nothing', so I taught it to pluck bass strings. Since I don't stress my right hand during the day, playing bass is all it really does. I have no pain at all in my right hand, but weird, my dominant left hand gets achy after too many hours on the frets.

    I play a Beatle Bass, so it would be so "Paul" to play it lefty, but no way! I can't do it! Play URB righty, 6-string righty, and even eat righty. I am practically ambidextrous.

    BTW: most pain is technique related. Take good hard look at what you are doing.
  4. I was thinking of trying this myself so I will be very interested to see where this thread goes. I have a pinched nerve in my neck where my neck meets my spine. It causes pins and needles in that area and sends pain and tingling feelings down my left arm. I have done almost everything to try to help it. My next step is surgery but I am using that as a last option. I have looked into buying a low cost left handed bass to try to play left handed and give my right side a rest by taking the pressure of holding a bass of my left side. I play piano so I feel I could probrably play well lefty Hopefully we can get some insight from others on this.
  5. Mr wiggl3s

    Mr wiggl3s Banned

    Feb 27, 2009
    You can do it. Just like starting over. Don't try anything to complicated, obviously, and just stick to it.

    Will it help? I don't see why not.

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